Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

41

Architecture: Roman Cement Concrete was widely used throughout antiquity by the Persians, Egyptians, Assyrians, and Romans. The Romans technique in creating concrete allowed them to build the Pantheon, Colosseum, aqueducts, and spectacular baths (big ones, awesome ones). Amazingly many structures built with this Roman Cement are still standing. The recipe ...


31

To sum it up: The costs simply outweighed the benefits. You have to consider that Germania at this time was essentially one huge forest, which was very, well empty. No cities to conquer, the first German cities were actually founded by the Romans, like e.g. Aachen, Cologne or Trier. The Germans were primitive tribesmen and had little to offer to the Roman ...


26

As Wladimir noted, the precise "vs" analysis is impossible since it depends heavily on what kind of armor, weapons, tactics, training and commanders both infantry and cavalry have, as well as economics of society (which heavily influences these things for the cavalry which is a lot more expensive to equip/train, especially heavy cavalry). Also, it's ...


25

I think the OP knows that the Dravidians were in India before the Aryans, and is asking why historians don't talk more about them. The answer is that Sanskrit (Aryan) scholarship has been going on in the west for centuries, while we still can't read the Indus Valley (probably Dravidian) script. Most of what we know about the Indus Valley civilization is ...


25

It is actually a bit of a myth that everyone believed the world to be flat until Columbus. It is true that a lot of ancient societies believed that as a matter of cultural mythology. This was true both for the ancient Greeks as well as the ancient Indians. However, any ancient navigator who looked to the horizon on the sea on a calm day could clearly see ...


24

"Is there any evidence to suggest whether either polytheism or monotheism came first, as an established form of religion? Or do we even have any way of knowing?" The oldest written records we have that mention religion are all polytheistic. The writer will sometimes claim that his god rules over the others, but this tends to have a 'my dad can beat up your ...


22

The tablet is almost certainly a modern fake: Despite Gordon’s certainty about the genuineness of the inscription, he failed to find support from colleagues and, notably, entered into a bitter dispute with Frank Moore Cross Jr (born 1921), Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages Emeritus at Harvard. Cross pointed to problems with ...


19

Your examples don't really count. Yes, polytheistic religions don't consider all gods as equals. But that's simply the hierarchy of human societies applied to gods, it comes naturally with the human psyche being what it is. Nevertheless, polytheism seems to be the more obvious form of religion: a single almighty god is very abstract and hard to imagine, a ...


19

The answer to this question depends somewhat on the kingdom, geography, and era. The ancient Achamaemenid Empire of Persia (Iran) was arguably the first true empire in history, and spanned a sizeable amount of territory. It made use of regularly stationed outputs with stables always containing well-fed and well-rested horses, for messengers to quickly get ...


19

I found about 50 different sources for your quote, all verbatim copies of each other and without any indication of which those tablets were, who discovered them or any hint to catalogue numbers. I truly hate the internet sometimes, please treat this answer as a guess, there's no way to verify exactly which tablets the quote is about. One of the tablets is ...


18

Prior to Philip's time and the League of Corinth (337 BC), the Ancient Greek world was fragmented in (often warring) city states and kingdoms. There is little sense in discussing a Greek nationality at a time where, for example, Athenians identified themselves as Athenians first and as Hellenes later. Pericles' reforms in 451 BC exemplify the distinction, ...


17

Why: Several factors determined the cost-benefit-ratio of war chariot. This ratio changed with different tempo in different regions, as different factors became differently important. To list the most important: the breeding of horses changed significantly over the centuries, horses became taller and stronger, so the cost-benefit-ratio improved towards ...


17

The first thing to note is that the concept of writing appears to be a very hard idea to come up with de-novo. There's only two times in human history that we know for sure it happened that way; once in the Near East, and once in Mesoamerica. (Everybody else could arguably have seen someone else doing it and copied the idea, much like the Cherokee did in the ...


17

In regards to the battle between Alexander and Porus, both accounts are correct, in their own way. Alexander won the battle, and received an acknowledgement of such from Porus; Porus won the war, by convincing the Greek army (if perhaps not Alexander himself) that continuing was pointlessly expensive. Both sides saved face through the reappointment of ...


16

It appears that the real demise of the Mayan Empire was a number of factors, including drought, warfare, and disease. NASA archeologist Tom Sever used satellite images combined with archeological findings to piece together the most likely scenario. Using pollen trapped in layers of lake sediment, scientists learned that around 1,200 years ago, just before ...


16

PTSD, or stress reactions from battle, were well known during the Greek and Roman era. The Greeks understood it very well. Alexander the Great's men are said to have mutinied after suffering "battle fatigue." These examples of Roman era PTSD are taken from a blog of ancient examples sourced from Max Hastings', An Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes: ...


15

Not quite sure if it qualifies for your definition since the question is slightly vaguish, but King Tut's tomb discovery by Carter in 1922 sounds like a fit. Another example: Finding the $22Billion treasure in Padmanabha Swamy temple in 2011 in Kerala. Obviously, the Heinrich Schliemann's finds (Troy itself and Priam's treasure, Treasury of Minyas at ...


15

I think, it depends on the definition of a road. Most old roads will start as a path trail, later it will be paved. Maybe it will decline and become again a trail. I think some of the oldest roads will be a mountain pass. An example: The Brenner Pass in the Alps was already used in the stone age (Ötzi was found nearby).


15

We have essentially three references on this topic. Of these, only Caesar's could have had political motivations, as he was engaged in a campaign against the Britons. His account, however, is only marginal compared to the others, in that he does not clearly state that the Celts went to battle naked. On the other hand, both Polybius and Diodourus Siculus look ...


14

The Narmer Palette, dating to the 31st century BCE, displays the name "Nar-Mer", the Pharoah credited with unifying Upper and Lower Egypt. There are names from before this time in later written records, which may or may not be legendary figures, and then there is Iry-Hor, which is either a predynastic pharaoh of upper-egypt preceding Narmer - or a symbol for ...


13

The Wikipedia entry on the book is pretty thorough. Guns, Germs, and Steel is definitely controversial, because Diamond is writing from the perspective of an evolutionary biologist, and essentially is arguing that history is if not wholly determined by geography, at least heavily influenced by it. From the Wikipedia entry: Guns, Germs and Steel met with ...


13

According to historian A. Roger Ekirch's At Day's Close, peoples in pre-industrial societies actually went to bed as soon at it was too dark to work, and slept (and still do sleep in such areas today) in two fourish-hour phases, interrupted by a short period of activity. He found numerous references to this in literature, from Medieval literature to Homer. ...


13

Because China was actually pretty far from India. For most of the past millennia, China and India were not "neighbouring countries" in any meaningful sense of the word. Most Chinese empires did not actually stretch all the way to the Indian subcontinent. It seems you're considering China and India based on their modern borders, but that is misleading: ...


12

I wrote an essay on him last year, and didn't see a single reference to him dying of unnatural causes in any of the following works: Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders 376-814: Volume 3: The Ostrogothic Invasion 476-535 (New York: Russel & Russel, 1880-1889) S. J. B. Barnish, Cassiodorus: Variae, (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1992), 90-93 Mark ...


12

While a healthy dose of scepticism is warranted when reading any historical text, there are several things in particular to be wary of when dealing with ancient sources. One of them, as you say, is exaggerated numbers. Geography is also suspect owing to poor measurements and traditional beliefs. Probably the most notorious is the quoting of speeches which ...


12

All the mathematical works of Hypatia of Alexandria for example were lost. From the secondary sources we do have, she was an amazing mathematician. Her death could be argued as the end of the classical times and the decent into the Dark Ages...


12

Basically, the time to put veterans in the front line is when you are in an attacking mode. That is, you put your shock troops in front so that they can actually deliver a shock. In a defensive mode, you put your less experienced troops in front 1) to give them experience and 2) to have them absorb casualties and spare your veterans. If and when the enemy ...


12

From Wiki: Will Durant explains that certain pygmy tribes found in Africa were observed to have no identifiable cults or rites. There were no totems, no deities, and no spirits. Their dead were buried without special ceremonies or accompanying items and received no further attention. They even appeared to lack simple superstitions, according to ...


12

The first (known) female Pharaoh is Sobekneferu (or Neferusobek) that ruled Egypt three centuries before Hatshepsut, from 1806 to 1802 BC. Sobekneferu is probably the earlier female ruler (in general, not only Egypt's) whose name we know and for whose reign we can be reasonably certain. James Henry Breasted regarded Hatshepsut as "the first great woman in ...


12

This is a marble plinth or capital for a decorative column, likely of Classical Roman origin - the harpies and the immodesty of the subjects particularly give it away. There was a major Roman city nearby at Caesarea. It will be impossible to give you more information over the internet - your best bet would be to report its discovery to the Antiquities ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible